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About the Recent Secret Service Scandal

We’ve all heard the stories – secret service agents guarding the door while their boss engages in a bit of “extramarital fun.” Lately, though, it seems it’s the agents who are misbehaving – an indication that the “boys will be boys” mentality fostered in our military and certain other governmental service agencies is alive and well despite numerous scandals and public efforts to curb such sexual misconduct.

In this case, the “boys” are intensely vetted, highly trained, security-clearanced men engaged in inappropriate and problematic sexual behaviors – behaviors that reek of sexual addiction. After all, a defining characteristic of sex addiction is impulsively or compulsively engaging in sexual behavior despite the inevitable negative consequences. Oftentimes sex addicts are intellectually intact and highly functional in life, as is the case here. Unfortunately, when these individuals are active in their addition they somehow feel invulnerable – safe from the possibility of their compartmentalized, sexual secrets being discovered by a spouse, loved one, boss, or the international media. Think former US Congressman Anthony Weiner sexting anonymous women from the US Congressional gym, seemingly without thinking about how badly that could, and did, turn out for him. The emotional and physiological pull of sexual addiction fosters a false sense of safety and denial – one that it easily shattered when the behavior creates relationship trouble, financial problems, legal issues, or an international incident.

Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S
Director of Intimacy and Sexual Disorder Programs
Elements Behavioral Health

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